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Monterey Bay Sanctuary Citizen Watershed Monitoring Network

About the Network | Watershed Map | Monitoring Protocols | Volunteer Data

Monitoring Protocols

The Coastal Watershed Council developed the Central Coast Regional Citizen Monitoring Guide, a product of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Citizen Watershed Monitoring Network funded by the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Download the Citizen Monitoring Guide by selecting a link below for either Mac or PC format. (NOTE: The Guide is broken into four (4) separate PDF documents)

Citizen Monitoring Guide Citizen Monitoring Guide - (Windows .zip file) (2.94 MB)

Citizen Monitoring Guide Citizen Monitoring Guide - (MacOS .sit file) (2.91 MB)

MacOS - .sit
Click and hold on the name of the file you wish to download. In the pop-up menu, select "Save this link as..." (or something similar) and save it to your local computer. You'll need a copy of Stuffit Expander to open them.

StuffIt - http://my.smithmicro.com/mac/stuffit.html

Windows - .zip
Right-click on the name of the file you wish to download. In the pop-up menu, select "Save this link as..." (or something similar), and save it to your desired directory. You'll need a program that can unzip archives (like WinZip) to read them.

WinZip - www.winzip.com

United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water Monitoring Water Quality Chapter 5 provides nationally-accepted protocols for common water quality measurements. Listed below are the most common protocols.

Dissolved Oxygen

Dissolved Oxygen or DO is the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water. It is important in aquatic systems because most aquatic organisms need oxygen to survive and grow. For cold water environments, the water quality objective requires that the DO concentration not fall below 6 to 8 mg/L.

http://www.epa.gov/owow/monitoring/volunteer/stream/vms52.html

Temperature

Temperature is a measure of the average energy of water molecules. It is one of the most important water quality parameters because it affects water chemistry and the functions of aquatic organisms. It influences:

  • The amount of oxygen that can be dissolved in the water
  • Rate of photosynthesis by algae and aquatic plants
  • Metabolic rates of organisms
  • Sensitivity of organisms to pollutants, parasites and disease
  • Timing of reproduction and migration of aquatic organisms

http://www.epa.gov/owow/monitoring/volunteer/stream/vms53.html

 

pH

pH is a measure of how acidic or basic the water is. It is important to document because:

  • It affects chemical reactions in aquatic organisms.
  • In extreme conditions it can cause physical damage to organisms.
  • It may increase the toxicity of certain chemicals.
  • For the Central Coast Region, pH shall not be depressed below 7 or raised above 8.5.

http://www.epa.gov/owow/monitoring/volunteer/stream/vms54.html

Turbidity

Turbidity is a measure of the amount of suspended particles in the water. It is important to measure because:

  • The particles can absorb heat and/or diffuse light thereby affecting photosynthesis capabilities of aquatic plants.
  • Turbidity is an indicator of erosion. High sediment loading can clog the gills of fish and also bury their eggs.
  • The particles provide a conduit for pathogens, pollutants and nutrients.

http://www.epa.gov/owow/monitoring/volunteer/stream/vms55.html

 

Conductivity

Conductivity is the ability of water to conduct an electrical current. It varies with water source: ground water, agricultural fields, municipal waste water, rainfall, etc. Therefore, it can indicate groundwater seepage or a sewage leak.

http://www.epa.gov/owow/monitoring/volunteer/stream/vms59.html

URL: http://montereybay.noaa.gov/monitoringnetwork/protocols.html    Reviewed: March 05, 2014
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

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